Taking a break from Saturn/Pluto turmoil…

Some of you will have read my recent article on Astrodienst, Some Notes on Cycles in a Time of Crisis, which sets the turmoil, violence and complexity of our home planet at present in the context of the great planetary cycles which symbolically describe the turbulence of a changing world order so graphically. 



In the meantime, we poor wee human individuals caught in the Saturn/Pluto/Nodes grinder are trying to survive it all, and if possible make some sense of it. One of the undoubted gifts of the Saturn/Pluto combination – and I should know, with the exact conjunction conjunct four personal planets – is the capacity to endure, and to be brave in tackling what must be faced and dealt with.

Beyond that, in my view we leave the rest to Spirit, the Unseen, the Divine – whatever name you wish to use in reaching out to that which is forever beyond our human grasp. I came to the practice of astrology a long time ago, seeking some kind of proof that we lived in a meaningful universe, that all the turmoils and struggles of life meant something – that we are not all mere butterflies pinned to the board of Fate within a random, meaningless cosmos.

And I did find pattern – meaning too. The great cycles tell us that we are part of a vast pattern charged with meaning. Each of us, tiny chips of the prevailing energies of our date, place and time of birth, products of our era, has our small part to play in the unfolding of the great cosmic Pattern.

In times of difficulty, I have always taken consolation from contemplating the Bigger Picture, taking refuge in a sense of the sacred. I know from my own, my friends, students and clients’ lives at present – avoiding mentioning the state of our nations eg in the UK and the USA! – that times are hard for so many of us.

So – tonight,  feeling meditative, I thought I’d share a favourite quote, which every time I read it walks me gently into Mystery, brings me some refuge, some peace…

“….in this journey of the spirit, I and others still walk that steep uphill road….And all our religious edifices, which serve first as staffs to help us on our way, in the end become crutches which we must discard….And the doctrines which we espouse and which we hold dear are only smooth shining stones which we pick up on the road and place in our baggage. With each new dogma and doctrine, the baggage grows heavier, until we discard these pebbles, one by one, leaving them on the roadside for others to find and carry a little further. And in the end we have need of neither doctrine nor creed, nor to name that which we worship – for it is beyond all image and words….”(i)


(i) ‘Women in Search of the Sacred ‘ by Anne Bancroft (Penguin Arkana 1996) pp 120-121



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18 thoughts on “Taking a break from Saturn/Pluto turmoil…

  1. Trying to reach home while a national crisis erupted ‘out of nowhere’ (it’s been brewing/festering…) I embrace your feedback in this post. Will load this and read at home, as I seem to be the only person out on fhte ghost streets and am being lovingly coddled by the museo staff.. even in chaos, angels appear —- or i should say ‘especially when in chaos’ —-
    At first prompt, the link at the top did not open but I will try again…

    1. Thanks for alerting me, Lisa – the link at the top is now fixed. I think it’s a set of perspectives which would really interest you…I’ve been neglecting yours – and my own, and other Web friends’ blogs/sites of late – too many challenges going on, not to mention column deadlines…however, I’ll drop by via your next post. Your life is certainly not dull these days either, my friend! Blessings, Anne

      1. Astrology is probably the best option for untangling the dates/timelines/births of various leaders. The former president Correa and the current Moreno and the oil and gas and the poor and and and — I suspect the stars say, ‘yes.’ It’s always great to see your posts, and so sorry about the probs associating your sites with the bad guys! Just means – to me – that your words are important!

      2. Well, Lisa, no need to apologise – astrological symbols bring objective witness to the archetypes that underpin and offer options to all our lives. Sadly, the ‘bad guys’ don’t tend to choose the most constructive expressions of those archetypal patterns… thanks for dropping by!

  2. Anne, a timely post and most helpful as we navigate so much local and planetary turmoil and upheaval. Having the Divine connection reminds me who I am…who we all are. Thank you again for providing context for all of this.

    1. Thanks, Carrie, I really appreciate your dropping by, and I’m glad you take some consolation and context from this post. I’ve loved that quote for a long time… It’s so wise.

  3. Via Facebook:
    Astrid Fallon:
    Thank you Anne, your article is refreshing. Let’s discard the pebbles on our spiritual paths. Not always easy here, thank you for the reminder!

  4. Via Facebook:
    Nuria Quitt :
    Great article and quote. Despite my passion for astrology I would also add it to the category of crutches. Why, because when you have a solid grasp on it and have explored it all you will have grown so much that you can leave it behind (or at the very least see it as one of many systems for growth). I had a spiritual teacher once who said that his job was to get himself out of his job; the day that happened he’d know he would have done his job.

  5. Thanks, Nuria – and for your interesting take on astrology at least partly as a crutch. Well, as I think T S Eliot said, humans cannot bear too much reality…maybe that’s why we love symbolic paths such as astrology so much…agree, it’s one of many lenses through which to contemplate the same underlying Ground…as is eg quantum physics which could also be seen as at least partly symbolic/metaphorical. I’ve never understood the need for a science/symbolism quarrel…

  6. Via Facebook:
    Marjorie White:
    Love the quote from Anne Bancroft, a great Buddhist author. Her daughter and son in law, Ed and Deb Shapiro were my teachers for over ten years.
    Yes the only way through this current mess is by meditating and embracing the quiet.

  7. Thanks, Marjorie.Yes, it’s a great quote and Women in Search of the Sacred in which I found the Anne Bancroft quote, is a wonderfully inspiring book well worth tracking down – not sure if it’s still in print.

  8. now finally – in appreciation of this post and the one you linked: “…as we sit in the eye of a circling series of collective storms, contemplating an increasing threat to the long-term survival of planet Earth,”

    Excellent writing, Anne, and extremely interesting as well. I also loved this post, which closes with brilliant prose. Perhaps we’ll remind ourselves to discard some of those polished stones and pebbles – and hope that our contributions were positive ones.

    When no one else can explain how things careened out of control while others attempt to nudge all things back into some sense of order, the astrologists will raise their brows and remind us that it was written in the stars; stars which few people deemed worthy of attention.

    Surely the T will not manage to remain in his position; he seems too heavy to float on this new cycle of air!

    This post and the ‘Cycles in a Time of Crisis’ were helpful and comforting.
    You provide a lot of insight, and I will re-read both articles more than once! Thank you.

  9. Many thanks for your supportive and affirming words, Lisa! I’m glad to know that you find my writing here helpful and comforting – that is my aim, as we all struggle with what the Universes’s energies bring us at this very harsh time both collectively and personally. Blessings to you, my friend.

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